Ron Houssaye wrote:
> Was TWL an elegy to Verdanel?
To me the word "elegy" does not fit. Perhaps "monody" is better. TWL
is not written in praise of Verdendal, it seems more to be about
mourning him and thinking of the way things were or could be. This is
a simplification of coarse (I was going to change this to "course" but
"coarse" seems to fit nicely here).
> Let's weigh what evidence, then. All in all, this sexuality
> discussion is piqueing my interest in the psychological state of
> Eliot, painting the picture of a very divided genius.
Again I bring up this book: James E. Miller Jr., "T.S. Eliot's
Personal Waste Land: Exorcism of the Demons," The Pennsylvania State
University Press, 1977
When it was published it was almost(???) considered scandalous because
it used Eliot's attachment to Verdenal as a basis of reading TWL,
though it followed the John Peter essays. You will find this book
more atuned to your sensibilities than Peter or "Painted Shadow."
Miller does not require you to believe that there was anything other
than a strong friendship with Verdenal and I can't think of many times
homosexuality comes up. Miller also tried to have his reading of TWL
come from the biography and not to make up a biography from the poem.
This can be difficult. For example, he did make a supposition (stated
clearly as one) that Verdenal may have been with Eliot in Munich
("Summer surprised us ..."). It is more reasonable to assume two
friends were on the loose in Europe than what may have happened in
their rooms. Miller would have found out that this was not the case
at any rate if he had been given permission to read the Verdenal
letters as he requested. (Mrs. Eliot was withholding permission on
these and other letters prior to her completing "Letters, Vol. I".)
Sue, you read the book recently. Is this a fair accessment? Anyway
Ron, give it a lookover and let me know if I gave you a bum steer.
Some information on the book:
The book is out of print but is sometimes seen for sale online
(currently 17 copies ranging from $8 to $102). Go to
http://used.addall.com and enter "Miller" for Author, "Waste" for
Title and "Eliot" for Keyword.
> And I wonder if he did in fact tell his executor to supress
> everything that was supressable, as someone stated.
Yes. I've read that but I can't provide a citation. Told to Haywood I